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2010 Apr 1 - The epidemiology and clinical manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus–associated tuberculosis in Hong Kong

CK Chan, F Alvarez Bognar, KH Wong, CC Leung, CM Tam, KCW Chan, CF Ho, WK Chan, IKY Mak. Hong Kong Med J 2010;16:Epub 2010 Apr 1
OBJECTIVE. To evaluate the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus–associated tuberculosis in Hong Kong.

DESIGN. Retrospective study.

SETTING. Tuberculosis and Chest Service and Special Preventive Programme, Public Health Services Branch, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

PATIENTS. Cases reported to the TB/HIV Registry jointly kept by the Tuberculosis and Chest Service and Special Preventive Programme from 1996 to 2006. The Registry includes cases of human immunodeficiency virus–associated tuberculosis diagnosed in the two services, and cases referred from regional hospitals under the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and the private sector.

RESULTS. Tuberculosis has become an increasingly important acquired immunodeficiency syndrome–defining illness in Hong Kong, and overtook Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia for the first time as the most common primary acquired immunodeficiency syndrome–defining illness in 2005 (accounting for 39% and 31% of all such illnesses, respectively in that year). The presentation of human immunodeficiency virus–associated tuberculosis is often atypical. In these patients moreover, there was a slightly higher rate of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (2%) than in the general population (range, 0.7-1.5%).

CONCLUSIONS. Programmes for the provider-initiated human immunodeficiency virus testing policy to reduce diagnostic delays should continue and be enhanced. Continual surveillance of both conditions is imperative, especially in view of a possible link between human immunodeficiency virus and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

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